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The Dante Chamber by Matthew Pearl
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The Dante Chamber

by Matthew Pearl

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Showing 5 of 5
A solid historical fiction as usual from Pearl. I just looked back and saw that he pretty much always nets out around 3.5 stars on his books with me. A couple 4s. The original Dante Club was better IMO, and as usual, bordering on a little silly. But fun! ( )
  BooksForDinner | Oct 2, 2018 |
While the first book (The Dante Club) focused on Dante's Inferno, this book takes us into his Purgatory, accompanied by a new cast of historical figures -- poets Christina Rossetti, Robert Browning, and Alfred Tennyson. We not only watch them as they frantically seek for Christina's missing brother, artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, but we also get a glimpse into their lives and times.

First of all, yes, this book can absolutely be read on its own. Pearl has kindly given enough information to the reader to get them up to speed on the horrifying influences of Dante in New England while guiding them through his new and equally horrifying influences in old England. As I didn't know much about any of the protagonists of this story, I was also glad that Pearl spent almost as much time with their stories as he did with the main plot. I ended up doing a lot of Googling when the book was over! His books are always so well researched and authentic that it's sometimes hard to believe that these strange happenings are not actually historical.

https://webereading.com/2018/07/new-release-dante-chamber.html ( )
  klpm | Aug 26, 2018 |
As a series of deaths seemingly related to Dante's 'Purgatorio' sweeps London, Christina Rossetti is concerned that her brother (Dante) Gabriel may become the next victim. She recruits the widowed Robert Browning, Poet Laureate Tennyson, and the visiting American Oliver Wendell Holmes to assist her in her investigations. -- At first, this book was not terribly interesting, despite the originality of the methods of death, but it grew on me as I kept reading. Making Christina Rossetti the central figure and prime mover of the action was a masterstroke, and the solution/resolution to the mystery itself both unexpected and satisfying. Not, perhaps, the author's best effort (that would be "The Last Dickens," IMHO), but a worthy one nonetheless. ( )
  David_of_PA | Jul 14, 2018 |
I am not a poet, nor do I know much about poets. So, I was not familiar with the writings of Browning, Tennyson, or the others that Matthew Pearl refers to in Dante’s Chamber. There were times that I felt like I was lost, times I felt like I had no clue what was being referred to but I kept reading. I wanted to know where Christina’s brother was.

Dante’s Chamber is a slow read. I am usually a quick reader and with this one, I had to read every word and read them slowly so that I could follow the story. Usually, I give up on books like this and I almost did a couple times but I am so glad that I continued reading. I became invested in the story and the characters.

While this is part of the Dante Club series it can definitely be read as a stand-alone. I did not read the first book and I was still able to follow along, understand, and enjoy Matthew Pearl’s story. ( )
  Charlotte_Lynn | Jun 22, 2018 |
The Dante Chamber from Matthew Pearl is the second volume of The Dante Club series. I'll say up front that my rating is influenced by my interest in both Dante's Divine Comedy and the poets/artists involved in the investigation.That said, it simply ended my internal debate between a 4 or 5 star rating in favor of the 5 star.

Like any good historical novel at least part of the appeal is the use of historical facts and/or figures and this book succeeds tremendously in that regard. We catch the Rossetti's after the period of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood's greatest influence, which also means when they are coming to terms with the popularity and notoriety they achieved. Their quirks play a large part in the mystery/investigation itself as well as in making the story more interesting.

The mystery, the gruesome deaths and their relation to Dante's Purgatory, highlights many of the reasons the Divine Comedy has continued to intrigue readers to this day. There is a recent translation of The Inferno I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing not long ago that is quite well done, though I still have my preferred translation. Where The Dante Club makes a reader want to read or reread The Inferno this volume makes one want to do the same for Purgatory.

The mystery itself has some interesting twists and turns and is one of those where the "whodunit" is only part of the fun and the course of the investigation becomes as important as who may have done what.

Definitely recommended for readers of historical mysteries and especially those interested in such works where famous figures play prominent roles. If you also happen to love literary figures even better. Lucky for me I hit the trifecta!

Reviewed from a copy made available through Goodreads First Reads. ( )
  pomo58 | Jun 1, 2018 |
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"The year is 1870. Five years after a series of Dante-inspired killings disrupted Boston, a man is found murdered in the public gardens of London with an enormous stone around his neck etched with a verse from the Divine Comedy. When more mysterious murders erupt across the city, all in the style of the punishments Dante memorialized in Purgatory, poet Christina Rossetti fears her brother, the Dante-obsessed artist and writer Gabriel Rossetti, will be the next victim. Christina enlists poets Robert Browning and Alfred Tennyson, and famous scholar Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, to assist in deciphering the literary clues. Together these unlikely investigators rush to unravel the secrets of Dante's verses in order to find Gabriel and stop the killings. Racing between the shimmering mansions of the elite and the dark corners of London's underworld, they descend further and further into the mystery. But when the true inspiration behind the gruesome murders is finally revealed, Christina realizes that the perpetrator has even bigger and more horrific plans than she had initially thought"--… (more)

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Matthew Pearl is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Matthew Pearl chatted with LibraryThing members from Oct 5, 2009 to Oct 16, 2009. Read the chat.

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